France backs Greece, Cyprus in disputes with Turkey

France will support Greece and Cyprus in their disputes with Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean, Reuters reported citing French Defence Minister Florence Parly.

“France intends to stand by Greece and help it to confront multiple tensions in the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean,” Reuters cited Parly as saying in an interview with Greek newspaper To Vima on Sunday.

Turkey is at odds with Greece and Cyprus over potentially rich gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean. Tensions have increased since Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding with the internationally recognised government of Libya on Nov. 27 that sees the two countries as maritime neighbours. Greece says the deal ignores territorial waters around several of its islands.

“This accord sets the interests and security of the area in danger. It does not have any legal value and is not in line with international law,” Parly said.

French President Emmanuel Macron is an outspoken critic of Turkish moves in the eastern Mediterranean. Last month, Macron said his country stood unequivocally by Greece and Cyprus against what he called Turkish provocations and violations of their sovereign rights.